This article summarizes the contributions in this special issue on Diffraction-Limited Storage Rings. It analyses the progress in accelerator technology enabling a significant increase in brightness and coherent fraction of the X-ray light provided by storage rings. With MAX IV and Sirius there are two facilities under construction that already exploit these advantages. Several other projects are in the design stage and these will probably enhance the performance further. To translate the progress in light source quality into new science requires similar progress in aspects such as optics, beamline technology, detectors and data analysis. The quality of new science will be limited by the weakest component in this value chain. Breakthroughs can be expected in high-resolution imaging, microscopy and spectroscopy. These techniques are relevant for many fields of science; for example, for the fundamental understanding of the properties of correlated electron materials, the development and characterization of materials for data and energy storage, environmental applications and bio-medicine.
Keywords: diffraction-limited storage rings; new science opportunities.